If you’re like us here at Skinny & Co., and you love essential oils and aromatherapy, you might find yourself wondering about other uses or people who might benefit from each. If you find yourself wondering if essential oils for babies are safe, keep reading. We’ll address that question and more in this blog!
Essential oils for babies
First thing’s first: more research still needs to be done to truly identify the different types of essential oils that might benefit babies and how they might do so. But, that being said, people do use essential oils for babies, especially when it comes to baby massages. In fact, there have been some studies that show that baby massages performed on pre-term infants can encourage development while also decreasing irritability and disturbances. While baby massages can be given without the use of essential oils, the use of oil or cream (used as carrier oils for essential oils) can make the process easier and can help the caregiver’s hand move more smoothly over the baby’s skin.
Before you decide to get started with essential oils for babies, however, it is important to note that the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians do not recommend using essential oils on babies until they are at least three months old or older.
Understanding baby massages
Giving a baby massage has many benefits for both the baby and the caregiver. For example, a baby massage can encourage interaction between baby and caregiver, can help the baby relax and fall asleep, can positively affect infant hormones related to stress, and can help reduce crying. It’s also possible that giving a massage involving moderate pressure to a premature baby might promote growth, though further research is needed.
How to give a baby massage
As giving a baby massage is one of the most effective ways to use essential oils for babies, it’s important to know how to perform one both safely and effectively. Start with the following steps:
- Warm a small amount of coconut oil (with or without essential oils) in your hands.
- Starting on the baby’s legs, gently rub the oil into the baby's skin. You’ll only want to use just enough pressure to gently move the skin.
- To massage the chest and stomach, spread your hands out towards the baby’s sides, as if flattening the pages of a book. Make small circles with your fingers.
The best oils to use for a baby massage
Not all oils, whether they be essential oils or carrier oils, are safe for use on babies due to their sensitive skin. For example, you’ll want to avoid olive oil as a carrier oil and the following essential oils, as they are known to be irritants to babies:
- Cinnamon bark or leaf
- Lemon verbena
- Clove bud
So, now that you know which essential oils not to use, you’re surely wondering which ones you should use. Below, find recommendations:
- Lavender (may help treat pain in babies according to some studies)
- Chamomile (may help babies get to sleep)
One of the best carrier oils for essential oils is coconut oil, and there isn’t a better option out there than Skinny & Co.’s Pure Baby which was designed with moms and babies in mind. This is a great option for use on babies who are too young for essential oils or for babies who might be too sensitive for essential oils.
If you’re interested in trying essential oils for a baby massage, we recommend using Skinny & Co.’s Calming Lavender Almond Body Melt right after a bath, as it contains both lavender essential oil and chamomile essential oil.
Regardless of your choice, just remember that all babies, like adults, are different, and could have their own unique reactions to specific essential oils. If you notice any adverse reactions, discontinue use immediately and contact your baby’s doctor if the reaction worsens within time.